4/22/2018

Rock-Pop Review: Bird Mancini-Dreams and Illusions

Release Date: May 1, 2018
Label: Bonk Zone Music

It has been several years since I had the opportunity to provide some coverage of the Boston band Bird Mancini. I remember one thing, I loved their music! I can say right out of the gate, that opinion has not changed.

On May 1, 2018, they will release Dreams and Illusions, their eighth proper studio recording. Billy Carl Mancini and Ruby Bird are the two main cogs in the wheels that drive this band. 

The one thing I know I will hear on a Bird Mancini album is quality musicianship, excellent production, and tracks I know I want to hear again!

The influence of The Beatles is obvious in their music. As far as I am concerned that is a good thing and think most listeners would feel that way. So, what does a potential listener get with Dreams and Illusions?

Primarily what you will hear is a tight and well-polished band doing what they do best, crafting memorable rock-pop songs. The rhythms, vocals, and harmonies are in sync at all times. The succinct vocals of Ruby and Billy are the trademark of the band. 

At this point in their recorded legacy, it goes without saying you will get some variety to go along with pop rock-oriented tracks. Mixed in are some tasty elements of blues and jazz, like on “When You Get Back.” The track has just the right mixture of all of those genres mixed in. This typifies the music of Bird Mancini and always keeps things interesting and lively from start to finish.

I have always felt a connection to this band because they are from Boston but it's really their music and the roots of the sounds I hear that gave me an instant connection. Even though the first time I heard them was many years ago. Time does not make that link disappear, if you love the music, it just gets stronger and more relevant with the passing of time. In fact, my appreciation for this music is more important to me now more than ever. It makes me smile inside and that is all I need for a good listen. Just like they sing “Life In A Song” will go on and on when we're gone, it is so true. Music, good music, like the kind Bird Mancini makes, will survive this world and all its difficulties and carry on.

I do promise that there will be a lot of enjoyment on every single song you hear on this album. That is a lot to hold myself to but I am so confident that you will love Dreams and Illusions that it doesn’t feel like I am going out on a limb to say that, it is a fact! 

You will hear great driving guitar licks, a pounding rhythm section, harmonica, saxophone, accordion, and a slew of other instrumentation and effects on Dreams and Illusions. I think what is paradoxical is the fact that this is not a dream or an illusion, this really is great music that I think that has a lot of crossover potential to reach new audiences. Yes, indeed Bird Mancini has created a real rock and pop gem that you should not miss. An added bonus is the CD booklet and all the lyrics. My final thought is, I sure would love to hear this on a vinyl LP someday!

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 22, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews & News

Tracks: 
01. Congratulations
02. Don't Blink
03. One Mistake
04. It's Already Done
05. It's an Illusion
06. Recluse
07. Wake Me Up When It's Over
08. Fault Line
09. Wishing Well
10. When You Get Back
11. Life In a Song
12. Wishing Well

 

4/20/2018

Immediate Records Presents "Humble Pie On 79th Street" Limited Edition Vinyl LP - A Secret Release For Record Store Day UK April 21


With Record Store Day fast approaching, you won’t find this special compilation LP by one of the UK’s most iconic bands in any store on April 21st. Except one. “Humble Pie On 79th Street” will only be available from Pie & Vinyl.

Obvious? Or are we bucking the trend of Record Store Day in the manner that Andrew Loog Oldham, legendary founder of Immediate Records and Rolling Stones manager might have done? Or does this oneoff LP celebrate the spirit of RSD more than any other release?

Inspired by the beautiful pied-piperess Katherine who led us all to Pie & Vinyl and discoveries that linked her vibrant, musical town of Portsmouth & Southsea, an amazing record store and the timeless sounds of Humble Pie to dramatic events in Southsea over 40 years ago that culminated in a truly local effort to press the LP in Portsmouth and have it on sale in Southsea for Saturday April 21.

Says Immediate Records reissue producer Rob Caiger: “Wouldn’t it be great if by doing all of this, a new fan on Record Store Day discovers Humble Pie - in Pie & Vinyl - and feels the same excitement hearing ‘Natural Born Bugie’ as I did in my own local record shop Downtown Records many years ago. There’s no better place to hear new sounds (however old…) then in a record shop - and that’s just one reason why we should celebrate Record Store Day.”

One of the first supergroups, Humble Pie formed in 1969 and soon became one of the best-loved, hardest-rocking live acts of the 1970s. In Steve Marriott, the one-time Small Faces frontman, Pie had the best showman and biggest voice in the business. Peter Frampton, ‘Face Of ‘68’ with The Herd, had a new role - guitar hero. And with hard-hitting drummer Jerry Shirley and ex-Spooky Tooth bassist Greg Ridley, Humble Pie quickly developed into a sophisticated studio unit where tough riffs, rustic rock and bursts of blissed-out late psychedelia earned the band instant chart success and critical acclaim.

Supervised by Peter Frampton & Jerry Shirley, all songs have been newly remastered by Nick Robbins at Soundmastering and cut halfspeed by Matt Colton at Alchemy Studios. ‘79th Street Blues’ (take 7) was recorded at Olympic Studios on 3 January 1970 and mixed by Rob Keyloch at Church Walk Studios exclusively for this LP and will not appear anywhere else.

Strictly limited to 1,000 LPs pressed in Portsmouth at Vinyl Presents. On sale in Southsea on Record Store Day at Pie & Vinyl and worldwide from April 22 for one week via www.pieandvinyl.co.uk. Any remaining LPs after this period will be sold worldwide via www.immediate-records.com

Inspired by Katherine, Pie & Vinyl, Portsmouth & Southsea, Humble Pie

SIDE ONE
1. 79th Street Blues (take 7)
(previously unreleased)
2. Natural Born Bugie
3. Growing Closer
4. Silver Tongue
5. The Light Of Love
6. Ollie Ollie
7. Wrist Job
SIDE TWO
1. The Sad Bag Of Shaky Jake
(alternate version)
(previously unreleased on vinyl)
2. Stick Shift
3. Cold Lady
4. Bang!
5. Only You Can See
6. As Safe As Yesterday Is

For more information: http://pieandvinylonline.co.uk/shop/humble-pie-79th-street-secret-record-store-day-release-available-pievinyl/
www.immediate-records.com

North American press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

4/17/2018

Multicultural European Singer-Songwriter EMILY JOHNSON Releases Her Debut EP OPEN YOUR HEART Produced By NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN


“She has an extraordinary voice, superb.” - John Mclaughlin

San Rafael, CA - Sometimes known as “The Lady of Heart,” EMILY JOHNSON is a Bulgarian-born Nigerian singer, songwriter, and composer. Having performed around the world for many years, she is releasing OPEN YOUR HEART, her debut EP, on May 11, 2018, with the help of Tarpan Records in the United States. This EP was produced by NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN and features 4 original songs.

EMILY JOHNSON was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, at a time when the country was still under the influence of the Soviet Union. Her mother is Bulgarian and her father Nigerian, a mix which made her quite different from the other children in her own neighborhood and even her own country. Different by color, but also different in her heightened sensitivity which is expressed so wonderfully in her music.

“Open your heart,” EMILY JOHNSON sings on her soon to be released debut EP of the same name. To her this statement is more than words; it is a way of life. On this release of original songs, she creates her art with something beyond passion, giving herself to her audience with a great generosity, energy, and sincerity. Emily brings others together to ignore prejudices, erase borders, and overcome difficulties. She shares with them a simple pleasure which is to SING!

Emily has been fortunate to work with some music industry greats, including the incredible guitarist John McLaughlin who invited her on stage for an emotional performance of “Redemption Song.” Another is the world famous, Grammy Award-winning American producer NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN (Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin), who graciously opened the doors of his Tarpan Studios to produce OPEN YOUR HEART.

Ever since John McLaughlin discovered EMILY JOHNSON on stage on the Côte d'Azur, the Mahavishnu Orchestra founder has consistently praised her as an artist he already considers “a star.” Emily would certainly reply that she also owes much of her success to his friendship and support. John McLaughlin says, “If one day EMILY JOHNSON is on the top of the charts, it will be because of her talent. She has an extraordinary voice, superb. She has it all! An inner and outer beauty. She can sing everything.”

Emily appreciates this immense compliment coming from an artist with such a career. “He is more than a musician; John McLaughlin is a Legend and a great friend and I am so blessed to know him!” she says. They have performed together several times both live and in the studio. Their relationship is more than beautiful; it is strong, sincere and much more than words.

Even better, John invited EMILY JOHNSON to cross the Atlantic to join NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN, the former Mahavishnu Orchestra drummer who became one of Billboard Magazine’s Top Ten Producers of all time. “John has opened up new horizons for me,” says Emily. “He is not only a friend but also my Light.” “The Light,” as she sings on the track from OPEN YOUR HEART that she wrote and dedicated to him.

OPEN YOUR HEART features some amazing performances, with NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN playing many instruments and featuring performances by Chris “Heist” Walden (Keyboards/Electronic Drums, “Open Your Heart”), Jim Reitzel (Guitar, “Open Your Heart”), and Cornell “CC” Carter and Deedee Simon (Back-up Vocals, “The Light” and “Open Your Heart”). The song “I’m Blessed” features Rapper G-DubOPEN YOUR HEART was recorded at Tarpan Studios by Jim Reitzel and mixed by Dave Frasier.

Today this beautiful story continues with new collaborations on both sides of the Atlantic and with the release of her first project, simply titled OPEN YOUR HEART. An obvious choice, isn't it?

For more information about OPEN YOUR HEART or live EMILY JOHNSON performances please visit her website: www.emilyjohnsonofficial.com

To Pre-Order OPEN YOUR HEART on Digital Platforms worldwide please visit: http://radi.al/EmilyJohnsonOYH

To see the video for the title song “OPEN YOUR HEART” please visit:


For Press and Interview inquiries, please contact Billy James of Glass Onyon PR: glassonyonpr@gmail.com or (828) 350-8158

4/14/2018

Music Legend SHUGGIE OTIS Lets His Guitar Take Center Stage On A New Fusion Rock Album INTER-FUSION!


Features drummer Carmine Appice & bassist Tony Franklin!

Los Angeles, CA - Though most known for his soulful songwriting and gentle croon as heard on blockbuster hits such as “Strawberry Letter 23” and “Inspiration Information,” Shuggie Otis has long been held as one of the most innovative and tasteful guitarists to ever pick up the 6-strings, the “heir to Hendrix” as he is often called. A guitar-playing prodigy from an early age, Shuggie performed on stage and in the studio alongside his legendary father, bluesman Johnny Otis. Now, Shuggie has a new project that showcases just how mindblowing he can be on the pearly frets of his gorgeous maroon Gibson SG, an adventurous new fusion rock project called Inter-Fusion. The album consists of mostly instrumental tracks that groove and weave, taking unexpected turns in surprising directions but all anchored by one of the finest rhythm sections imaginable featuring drummer Carmine Appice (of Vanilla Fudge and Beck, Bogert & Appice) and bass player Tony Franklin (of The Firm and Roy Harper). In addition, keyboardist Kyle Hamood (of local L.A. rockers Them Guns) steps in as both a musician and producer of the album bringing the absolute best performances possible out of each player.

Reflecting on the recording process, Appice enthuses “This was one of the wildest sessions I’ve ever done in my career!” while Franklin had high praise for Otis, saying “Shuggie loved to jam, and was very open to everyone's input. He was not afraid to experiment and try new directions and sounds. I think the music sounds very fresh and alive.” Additionally, Hamood summed up his thoughts on this unique experience saying “Watching the songs come together over such a short period of time, and the diversity that each band member brought to the overall sound and vibe was truly magical. It was an honor to work and create with such a talented group of musicians.”

In a behind-the-scenes promotional video, shot by director Vicente Cordero, Shuggie likewise gushes over the project and his fellow collaborators saying in conversation with Cleopatra owner Brian Perera, “Wow! Did you know it was going to be this good? I know how good it is because I’m in the group. But you’ve seen a little bit of it, and I think you know, you feel the excitement, you hear how good these guys are. And they’re really serious, not just some jive cats!”

Check out the full video here: https://youtu.be/yXFg8zlXqHI

Inter-Fusion will be available April 20th on both CD, vinyl and on all digital platforms.



Track List:
1. Aphelion
2. Get A Grip
3. Ice Cold Daydream
4. Interlude
5. Woman
6. Sweet Surrender
7. Clear Power
8. V8

Buy the CD: https://cleorecs.com/store/shop/shuggie-otis-inter-fusion-cd/
Buy the digital: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/album/inter-fusion/1362748941?app=itunes&at=1000lt9k

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com



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4/13/2018

Instrumental New Age Reviews: Jill Haley-The Waters of Glacier (Music For Glacier National Park)

Release Date: April 2, 2018
Label: Independent

The beauty that mother nature bestows upon is a gift. Many people feel this way and that is why we need to protect our lands and the environments that flourish there. Jill Haley is one of those people that appreciates and celebrates her surroundings wherever she is.

On The Waters of Glacier is her twelve track specifically for Glacier National Park. The area served as great inspiration.

Glacier National Park is located in the U.S. state of Montana, on the Canada–United States border with the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. The park encompasses over 1 million acres and includes parts of two mountain ranges, over 130 named lakes, more than 1,000 different species of plants, and hundreds of species of animals. This incredible pristine land is one of our wonders of nature that is protected and revered.
The Waters of Glacier was brought about by one simple choice. Jill was looking out the window of her residency there at the park and it was raining. Rather than complain and fall into self-pity she decided to enjoy the blessing of water. This was the beginning of creating some very beautiful music fit for such a grand location. The great outdoors can inspire many things but when you are a multi-faceted artist like Jill, it is literally music to her ears. And now that inspiration and vision are documented on CD with a booklet and some great pictures of the area of the park.

Jill Haley plays the oboe, English horn, piano, and handbells on the album and she is accompanied by David Cullen (guitar), Dana Cullen (horn), Tom Eaton (electric guitar, keyboards, and bass) and the incomparable Michael Manring and his distinct bass playing.

The Waters of Glacier continues a string of recordings dedicated to the environment. I have always enjoyed her offerings not only for the superb music but for the subject matter. Nothing is more precious than our planet, the giver of life. To see all pictures gathered inside the CD for this recording and the music telling each story, well, it was like I took the trip myself. The music is so engaging and picturesque and certainly, that is the intent here. I think Jill really did a great job putting this project together and making an impact on listeners in several different ways. It is emotional because of our ties to humans and the earth and the serenity found within the mountains of Montana and subsequently in the music. The music is alive and as it flows through each track, the feeling of your own personal connection to nature clicks instantly on the very first track then intensifies with each succeeding track.

The Waters of Glacier is a gorgeous representation of new age instrumental music with a divine purpose in mind. It is twofold, the first being the music to calm your soul and focus, and the second the moving sounds and atmospheres that reinforce the importance of national parks and the pristine nature that we can still find. In a world that is polluted and misused frequently, this is a wakeup call to reality. And first and foremost, it is a reminder of where we came from and what our job is as the stewards of this gift of life and beauty that is all around us..

Thank you for the reminder and the wonderful music again Jill.

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 13, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


Tracks:

01. Clouds on Apgar Range
02. Rain on Huckleberry Mountain  
03. Glacial Lakes
04. First Passageway
05. Running Eagle Falls   
06. Falling Gold   
07. Frost Tinged Evergreens   
08. Montana Rivers
09. Ox-Bow Point
10. Ripples on Two Medicine Lake   
11. October Snow
12. Solitude

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